I get asked a lot how we handle the holidays and gift giving with having 4 children. "It must be so expensive for birthdays and holidays" people comment all the time. I have to say it is not at all. The reason it isn't is because we choose to take these gift giving holidays and make them just holidays. Birthdays and Christmas shouldn't automatically mean gifts galore. I know that they are special days and should be celebrated and they still are celebrated just not in the "traditional" sense. We celebrate each holiday with each other, spending quality time together.
I remember back to when I was a teenager and we got to open one gift at my dads on Christmas Eve BUT there was a catch, we had to wait until we got home from my grandparents annual Christmas Eve party. Guess who wanted the party to get over with just so I could go home and see what my parents bought for ME. I would selfishly rather have been at home opening presents than spending time with my amazing family. I would kill to have those Christmas Eve nights back at my grandparents, to spend quality time with them and tell that that I loved them and adored them but my Christmas focus was never on family, it was on the gifts I would get.
This is so common for mostly everyone growing up. You are showered with gifts from a young age and then automatically begin expecting these things at every holiday. I even remember my uncle would give us gifts at Easter. Easter? Obviously I did not complain because I love me some gifts but somewhere in the years of gift giving and spoiling it all got lost for me. I looked forward to my birthdays to be given things that I thought I needed. Things that I wanted and that I deserved.
It wasn't until the past few years that Jordan and I had had enough of the holiday chaos. We started a few years back not accepting birthday gifts for the boys parties but rather donations to be given to a charity. Our boys had their huge birthday bash this summer and it was awesome. Bounce house and food galore, the boys spent time with their favorite people and family. Never once did they stop to ask for gifts or wonder when they would get something. On their real birthdays we celebrate as a family and make a meal of their choice and dessert. Nothing fancy at all, just good ole family time and I honestly love it.
Christmas is run pretty similar. Last year we gave them each one gift of their choice. It went awesome. They were each so EXCITED for their gift!!! Now getting grandparents on board will never happen and I am okay with that but I do ask for educational gifts but honestly you should see the boys open their gifts at Grandparents houses. They are just ripping them open and barely paying attention to anything they got. It made me pretty sad last year watching them do it. Instead of being excited about the gift they had just opened they just wanted another and another.
My boys will never go without. They will always have a roof over their heads, warm clothes and full bellies. They have everything they need and more. I just want them to not use holidays and birthdays as "ME ME ME" holidays.
I even asked Vincent what he wanted for Christmas he said "juice boxes" for every day of the year. Alright bro? We still have yet to order the boys gifts yet. We are legit out of ideas. I think we are doing sleeping bags. Super fun right?? haha! It's funny because Vincent overheard us talking about it and came up and said "I heard you said I am getting a sleeping bag....that is AWESOME!"
Once they are older and can fully tell us what they want it will get easier. We will do one gift each and then maybe one bigger family gift. Obviously this little method might not work for every family but we are loving it our second year in. So to everyone who has asked that is our method to the gift giving madness. Simplifying things down makes for much happier and smoother holidays.
Happy Tuesday!! xoxo